Active COVID-19 cases remain under 10 lakh for 11th day; virus spread slowing in Mumbai slums, says BMC

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Active COVID-19 cases remain under 10 lakh for 11th day; virus spread slowing in Mumbai slums, says BMC
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Kerala reported a single-day spike of over 9,000 new cases on Friday, a day after the state government imposed Section 144 of CrPC, prohibiting the assembly of more than five people

Active cases of coronavirus in India remained under the 10 lakh-mark for the 11th consecutive day on Friday, the Union health ministry said even as the country’s total caseload rose by 81,484 new cases.

The ministry added that the country continued to maintain its global position of having the maximum number of recovered patients.

With 78,877 people having recuperated from COVID-19 in a span of 24 hours, India’s total recoveries surged to 53,52,078, pushing the recovery rate to 83.70 percent, according to data updated at 8 am.

“The last 10 lakh recoveries were added in just 12 days. With this, India continues to maintain its global position of being the country with maximum number of recovered COVID patients in the world,” the ministry said.

The total number of cases (63,94,068) include 9,42,217 active cases, which comprises 14.74 percent. Maharashtra is leading the tally among states with more than 2.5 lakh cases. Karnataka follows with more than 1 lakh cases, the ministry said.

Fourteen states and union territories, including Meghalaya, Chhattisgarh, Puducherry, Himachal Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Goa and Sikkim, have less than 5,000 active cases of COVID-19, the ministry highlighted.

The ministry added that 78.07 percent of the new cases reported on Friday are concentrated in 10 states and UTs — Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Odisha, West Bengal, Delhi and Chhattisgarh.

While Maharashtra contributed more than 16,000 new cases, Karnataka has contributed around 10,000 cases.

Kerala reported a single-day spike of over 9,000 new cases on Friday, a day after the state government imposed Section 144 of CrPC, prohibiting the assembly of more than five people.

Also, 10 states and UTs — Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, West Bengal, Odisha, Chhattisgarh and Kerala — account for 72 percent of the newly recovered cases, the ministry said.

Maharashtra has the highest number of newly recovered cases, followed by Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.

The toll rose to 99,773 on Friday, with 1,095 new deaths being reported. The COVID-19 case fatality rate was recorded at 1.56 percent, the ministry said.

According to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), a cumulative total of 7,67,17,728 samples have been tested for COVID-19 up to 1 October, with 10,97,947 samples tested on Thursday.

Donald and Melania Trump test COVID-19 positive

US president Donald Trump said on Friday that he and First Lady Melania Trump have tested positive for the coronavirus, a development that is likely to affect his hectic election campaign just weeks before the presidential polls.

“Tonight, @FLOTUS and I tested positive for COVID-19. We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER!”, 74-year-old Trump tweeted.

In a statement, Trump’s physician Dr Sean Conley said the president and the first lady “are both well at this time”, and they plan to remain at home within the White House during their convalescence.

“Rest assured I expect the President to continue carrying out his duties without disruption while recovering,” Conley added.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Ram Nath Kovind wished Trump and the First Lady a quick recovery.

“Wishing my friend @POTUS @realDonaldTrump and @FLOTUS a quick recovery and good health,” Modi tweeted. “Our prayers and best wishes are with you during this time,” Kovind said.

Meanwhile, US vice president Mike Pence and Second Lady Karen Pence tested negative for COVID-19 Friday morning, AP reported.

Second sero-survey indicates drop in infections in Mumbai slums, says BMC

The presence of COVID-19 antibodies in samples from slums in Mumbai was found to have decreased by 12 percent in the second sero survey, the BMC said.

It indicates that the infection spread in slums in the city may have come down, the BMC added.

Presence of anti-bodies in the blood indicates that the person has been exposed to an infection.

The latest survey disclosed that “sero-prevalence” of COVID-19 infection in slums is 45 percent, compared to 57 percent in the first sero-survey in the city (in July), the BMC said on Thursday, according to PTI.

The sero-prevalence in buildings was around 18 percent against 16 percent in the first survey, it added.

The latest survey was carried out in wards R-north (Borivali), M-West (Mankhurd and Govandi) and F-North (Worli and Lower Parel) in the second half of August.

“Sero-positivity from the second round, taken together with the current number of reported cases from slum areas in these wards, indicates there could be a reduction in the spread of infection in slum areas,” said the BMC.

The BMC added that the sero-survey also found that only 27 percent health workers have developed antibodies despite being in constant contact with COVID-19 patients.

According to BMC, in the first and as well as in the second round of sero-survey, approximately 27 percent health workers in the city — who are more exposed to the virus than ordinary citizens — were found to have developed antibodies against the infection.

Uttar Pradesh govt allows religious events outside containment zones from 15 Oct

With the Uttar Pradesh government allowing programmes in the open outside containment zones in the next phase of coronavirus lockdown, decks have been cleared for holding Durga Puja and other religious events in the upcoming festival season, PTI reported.

Additional Chief Secretary (Information) Navneet Sehgal said the district administrations will permit such programmes with necessary availability of face masks, thermal scanners, hand sanitisers and social distancing.

The new guidelines will come into effect from 15 October while the festival season will kick off with Navratras from 17 October, the report said.

The new guidelines have been issued under which the lockdown will be effective only in containment zones, which have been converted into micro containment areas, he said.

Sehgal said in closed halls, permission will be given with 50 percent capacity but a maximum of 200 people.

Earlier this week, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had said all precautions must be taken during upcoming festivals in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The state government made the announcement even as deputy chief minister Keshav Prasad Maurya tested positive for COVID-19.

The former MP urged people who have come in contact with him to get tested at the earliest.

“After the initial symptoms of corona infection, I g ot the test done in which my report has come up positive today. I request all of you that whoever has come in contact with me in the last few days, they should go to the nearest health centre and get their tests done and follow the COVID rules,” Maurya tweeted in Hindi.

DMK leaders booked for violating COVID-19 norms in Tamil Nadu

The DMK on Friday held “People’s Sabha” meetings across Tamil Nadu, day after the state government announced cancellation of the customary “Gram Sabha”, held on 2 October, citing the COVID-19 situation.

On Friday, cases were registered against party chief MK Stalin, women’s wing secretary Kanimozhi and others for holding the meetings despite the government barring such events and for violating curbs imposed in view of the coronavirus pandemic, PTI reported.

The state government on Thursday night announced the cancellation of the meetings of the gram sabha, the grass root level democratic institution in each village panchayat, citing the pandemic situation.

The meetings are held at least four times in a year on 26 January, 1 May, 15 August, and 2 October. Though the DMK chose to describe the meetings as “Makkal Sabai Koottam” (Meet of People’s Sabha), the banners with “government emblem”, that formed the backdrop of such meetings, in several places announced the gathering as that of “Gram Sabha.”

State-wise deaths

The number of new deaths on Friday include 394 from Maharashtra, 130 from Karnataka, 80 from Uttar Pradesh, 66 from Tamil Nadu, 59 from West Bengal, 45 from Punjab, 41 from Andhra Pradesh, 40 from Delhi and 29 each from Chhattisgarh and Kerala.

The total 99,773 COVID-19 deaths reported so far in the country include 37,056 from Maharashtra followed by 9,586 from Tamil Nadu, 8,994 from Karnataka, 5,869 from Andhra Pradesh, 5,864 from Uttar Pradesh,5,401 from Delhi, 5,017 from West Bengal, 3,460 from Gujarat, 3,451 from Punjab and 2,336 from Madhya Pradesh.

With inputs from agencies

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